Digital Transformation in the Office

Digital Transformation in the Office

In the midst of setting targets and goals for 2022, have you considered transforming your office? The digital workplace is a reality for many successful companies, and if you’re not invested in it already, now is the time! The office is no longer just a place to house employees during the day, rather it is more a strategic environment to get on the digital transformation curve. A digital office is a boon to companies looking for their next opportunity to disrupt the market and achieve consumer approval. Moreover, a digitized workplace is a connected workplace. In a changing work environment, the one thing that remains constant is the need to impress the buyer. Every company is set out to achieve the one goal their entire business operates for: that is to get consumer approval. It then becomes especially important that companies invest in a system that helps them reach the consumer first, before anyone else — a digitized office is the best way to achieve that. Workplaces today are hubs for innovation, and more than providing for employees, office spaces have become a means to achieve digital transformation through and through. The immediate advantage of a digitally-oriented space is connectivity of departments, people, systems, and data — much needed for business acceleration. Workplace connectivity enables business progression in ways that were not possible in an office before. In a truly digital workplace, the location becomes obsolete and companies are able to transcend time and space constraints, which a physical office previously induced. This leads to a gradual democratization of spaces, data, and other workplace resources that were previously accessible only on a hierarchical basis. We are already seeing this in the form of workplace flexibility where companies now are able to have their valued employees choose how and where they want to work from. Remote work and workplace flexibility are very much a product of digitization. Digital enterprises enable greater resource and knowledge sharing across the organization, leading to a dissolution of siloed departments, structures, and data, and a more connected work environment. This in turn ensures better communication and coordination between staff, leading to faster implementation of tasks and increased productivity.

A digital office also becomes important in terms of catering to the end consumer. More than achieving sales targets for a given period, companies today are required to build momentum to sustain a highly assertive and knowledgeable customer. Keeping a customer has become one of the primary concerns for companies, especially given the stiff competition that exists in every kind of market environment. Apart from working to create innovative products and solutions, companies today are also required to come up with innovative strategies that will help hold or retain their customers longer. A digital office, in this case, greatly amplifies the degree to which they can engage with a customer. The overall positive effect of digitization is reflected in both the employee morale and customer engagement, both of which are essential factors for the success and longevity of a company.

Embracing technology is the first step to creating digital workspaces. For the most part, technology is an enabler, and we see that the rapid proliferation of automation has helped transform the workplace for the better. A very recent example is the pandemic and how companies globally managed to navigate the impediments imposed by it, and were able to continue operations using technology.

The widespread use of intelligent automation and cloud-based solutions as a means to continue work during the pandemic have led to a reimagining and revamping of the office, as we know it.
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‘Work from home’ is no longer a perk afforded by the very valuable staff but a necessity recognized by companies all over and very much a part of the new normal. But there are many factors that have spurred a digital revolution in the right direction, least of which are the concerns on how to meet the expectations of a rapidly evolving consumer and a dynamically changing workforce.

Data Deluge: among other things, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to manage the constant influx of data and information. A customer service representative requires data on a customer to be able to correspond and attend to customer grievances of any kind. It is however, very difficult to access the right data on a customer from the myriad of data sources, which include but are not limited to email correspondence, receipts, invoices, sales order forms, and any other document that reflects a connection to and contact with the customer. In fact, the influx of information is so large that even the most organized companies are finding it difficult to quickly process data on a customer from the many incoming sources and present it in a format that is convenient for the customer service representative to look at and solve the problem at hand. Managing data requires a good deal of diligence and consistency, without manual errors, something that technology can provide.

Process Efficiency: the buying power of customers has increased manifold over the years, making it necessary for businesses to provide the products and services at exemplary speeds. Processing jobs manually is always error-prone, time-consuming, and costly. Technology, on the other hand, removes the inefficiencies and costs that come with manual processing work, making it easy for businesses to fulfill customer expectations efficiently and cost-effectively. Intelligent automation and other advanced process automation technologies are helping many companies transition their back-offices from being cost centers to becoming strategic hubs for exemplary service delivery and fulfillment.

Dynamic Workforce: today’s global economies have given rise to a dynamically changing workforce. Skilled workers are in high demand, making it especially difficult for companies to retain employees for the long-term without providing all the requisites that a modern office goer needs. A shortage of skilled staff has prompted companies to look for alternate ways to get work done — digital workers are filling up mundane, repetitive processes that were once handled manually. The result is an efficient, consistent workforce that does not tire, emulates human actions to get work done, but without the inefficiencies that come with manual labor. Robotic process automation combined with advanced technologies like intelligent data capture and machine learning helps create digital workers that can ‘learn’ on the job as a skilled worker would, but performs tasks with the greatest speed and efficiency.

There are plenty of reasons to go digital but it is important that any kind of workplace digitization is designed to meet your specific business requirements. Rather than decide on a software solution that does a particular task well, decide what functional areas of your business need IT support. The idea is to implement digitization that will provide a comprehensive solution to a problem. Is productivity a concern or does our supply chain need to be made more agile?

Addressing the right problems will help you implement the right IT solutions.
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Remote Working: what will it take to enable remote working in your company? A cloud solution? A fully equipped home office? Because the concept of ‘work from anywhere’ is a reality today, it helps to equip your workers with all the requisites that enable remote working. Tools like a cloud-based collaboration software, word processors, enterprise resource planning solution, a company laptop and mobile, remote scanners, etc. help get work done.

Data Management: data dictates many business processes, and so it helps to have a comprehensive data capture and document processing solution in place. Fortunately, intelligent automation, which combines robotic process automation with AI and machine learning along with other digital transformation technologies, has made it possible to create intelligent document processing solutions that require little to no manual intervention. We find applications for automatic document processing in many document-intensive processes like invoice processing, medical claims processing, sales order management, etc. These processes are mission critical for the sound management of important business functions like accounting, supply chain, and customer relationship management, and must be done right every time. Technology is the answer.

Business Management: critical business functions like human resource management, customer relationship management, travel and expense management, etc. involve the implementation of a complete cycle of events along the management chain. For instance, HR management may involve a lot of different functions like payroll, onboarding, employee grievance, benefits, etc. These functions are best managed when they are coordinated. By having a single platform solution to take care of all HR operations, companies have a better understanding of the state of affairs in HR and a better way to address the challenges in a collaborative manner. Enterprise resource planning software helps companies consolidate critical business functions to coordinate different operations under the same department more efficiently. Different business applications in the market are designed to enable easy management of complex functions under different departments, but with complete communication between the departments for efficient business outcomes.

Marketing: in order for companies to build brand awareness and elevate the value of their offerings, they need to market their products well. With the shift to ecommerce and online business management, it has become important for companies to invest in online marketing tools. Tools like the ones provided by Hubspot and Marketo thelp advance and implement unique marketing strategies to enable speedy sales.

Whatever your business, it is important that you build a foundation for long-term business continuity and growth. A digitized office will help with that.

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For information on how you can digitize your AP/AR processes, contact Artsyl.

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